How to Start a Craft Business

Making the leap to self-employment and starting a craft business is always an exciting and daunting prospect.

You would get to do exactly what you love, use your creativity to produce beautiful things, become your own boss and make money at the same time. What could be better?

But it all seems like too much work to get started, especially if you’re not a business-minded person and you’re far from being clued up when it comes to technology.

Let’s change all that today. Let’s break down exactly what you need to do to start a craft business in easy-to-understand steps so you can start making that dream a reality.

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1. Do your research

Before you get started, ask yourself if there’s a demand for your crafts.

Do people love what you create? Have they already asked to buy them? Ask friends and family what they think about your idea (although don’t be too deterred if they’re not keen on your idea of setting up in business- this often happens!).

Also go to craft fayres and browse craft websites. Find out if there are already people selling your craft (there should be) and if the market seems to be saturated or if there’s room for one more.

Carpenter drawing

2. Test the water

Before you quit your day job and throw yourself into your business, it’s important to test your idea by selling on a small scale.

This helps you see if your idea is indeed viable, allows you to listen to customer feedback and see what works and also tweak your ideas to create a product that your customers will adore.

row of light bulbs with one different from the others

3. Consider how your crafts are unique

Get ahead of the competition and appeal to a specific audience by deciding what makes you special. What can you offer to customers that others can’t?

Do you use eco-friendly materials? A traditional type of workmanship? A unique design? A specific target market?

Understanding what you offer at this early stage can give your business a head start and will prove especially useful when you start writing your website, social media posts and other marketing materials, so don’t skip it!

How Name Your Business sign in a conceptual image

4. Choose your business name carefully

Think of a business name that reflects your unique creations whilst being catchy, simple and appealing to your potential buyers. This can take time- you’ll likely need to brainstorm ideas whilst you’re in the bath or walking the dog, but the effort is certainly worth it.

Check that the name is available by searching social media sites like Facebook, running through the online craft stores like Etsy, Folksy and Not on the High Street and conduct a Google search or two. Finally, make sure it’s not an existing trade mark.

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5. Register your business

The easiest way to start your business is to set up as a sole trader. This means that only you own the business (although you can employ other people), you don’t need to register your business with Companies House and you can calculate your own tax.

You just need to have a valid UK National Insurance number, and register for self-assessment tax and you’re ready for business.

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6. Set up your website and social media

Websites provide a great space where you can put your crafts on display, reach new customers and generate new sales, no matter what else you’re doing.

Choose a good domain name that is simple, memorable, easy to spell and that matches your business name. Don’t forget to claim your social media sites whilst you’re at it. Facebook and Pinterest work well for crafts and Instagram can be a good channel for sharing images of your creations.

Thread for leather craft

7. Find professional standard materials

Keep your brand image strong by choosing high-quality, professional standard materials that put you head and shoulders above the rest.

Keep in mind the costs of the materials when you’re in the planning stage so you still have a decent profit margin.

Handsome photographer making photo on camera in studio

8. Get professional- standard photos

Avoid looking unprofessional and build your brand image by using high quality photos on your website, on social media and in your marketing materials.

Use the best camera that you can lay your hands on, use great lighting and use a clean backdrop that will allow you to show off your craft to its best. If you’re not confident, ask a friend to help or hire a professional. The investment will be very much worth it.

Human hand on tablet pc and credit card for shopping online

9. Decide how you will sell your crafts

Where do you plan to sell your crafts? As we’ve already discussed, it’s essential that you create an online presence. But you should also consider how else you can reach your potential customers.

Are you a fan of craft fairs and craft shows? Do you like Etsy? How about Not on the High Street? Or Folksy? How about adding e-commerce to your website?

Remember that most (if not all) sites do charge commission, so factor that in when calculating which site to use and your potential profits.

Delivery driver driving van with parcels on seat outside the warehouse

10. Consider postage

Fast delivery and reliable service will help build the reputation of your business and help build trust. That’s why it’s important to consider how you’ll be delivering your crafty creations to your customer.

Will you be happy using Royal Mail to deliver or would you prefer a courier service like Hermes, TNT, FedEx or similar?

Also choose great quality packaging that looks great and protects your craft. Consider using plastic-free or eco-friendly packaging to add to your brand image whilst also doing your bit for the planet.

Final Thoughts

Starting your own business by doing what you love might seem like an idle daydream. But you can make it happen by following these steps. Who knows? You might end up quitting that day job sooner than you thought!

Want to learn more about how to build your business? Check out the helpful guide to planning an ecommerce business we have on our website. It’s free to download, so get started today.

James Cartwright

About James Cartwright

James is a Director and Digital Business Consultant at Perspective Design. He has over 20 years experience in the field of web design within which, he taught A Level web design for 13 years. Since 2014 James has also run a successful eCommerce business. James is an experienced communicator and seeks to help and encourage business owners reach their potential.

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